Chicago's official Christmas tree selected as retired Morgan Park CPS teacher donates spruce

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's official Christmas tree has been selected and for the first time, the tree in Millennium Park will come from the city.

This year's tree is a 45-foot spruce from the Morgan Park neighborhood donated by Catherine Townsend, a retired CPS teacher. The tree was selected from nearly 50 nominations.

Proud owner, and avid gardener Townsend is overjoyed. After a little push from her daughter, they submitted her blue spruce, planted in 1985, to be considered in the quest to find Chicago's next Christmas tree to display in Millennium Park.

Her tree was picked, and her family is beaming with pride, but it is a little bittersweet.

"It's going to be happy as well as sad, a little bit because I know I won't see that anymore, and I'm so used to that tree but just to know that, and my mother it means so much to her, it's really a blessing," said Karen Washington, Townsend's daughter.

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Chicago has picked its official Christmas tree for Millennium Park.



This is actually the very first tree from the city of Chicago to be picked for display in Millennium Park, making the moment even more exciting!

"This has been one of the most beautiful periods in my life," Townsend said.

"It means a lot to me," said Sherri Mitchell, Townsend's daughter. "This was my childhood home."

After the tree cut was down and gently placed on a flatbed, it will head downtown and moved into place on Monday morning.

The official Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will not be open to the public this year. Instead, there will be a virtual holiday program at YouTube.com/ChicagoDCASE at 6:30 p.m. on November 19.

The tree will then continue to stand at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street until January 7.
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